January 10, 2011
The Romans Road
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Friend to Friend
In my last two devotions, I looked at what it means to be lost and what it means to be saved. Today, let's look at four key verses from the book of Romans that explain why we need to accept Jesus and how. We'll look at the problem, the penalty, the provision, the promise, and the prayer.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 5:23.
There is not one person who has ever been good enough to achieve the right to go to heaven, and no one can work their way to heaven. This is perhaps one of the greatest differences between Christianity and other world religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam all teach that a person has to earn their way to God. Guess what. We can't.
Imagine you are standing on the east coast of the United States, peering out over the Atlantic Ocean. On the opposite shore, God is sitting on His throne. All you have to do is put on your goggles and flippers and begin the swim to the other side. Would you make it? No. Likewise, there is no way that you or I could ever work our way into heaven. God requires sinless perfection in order to enter into His presence, and as the writer of Romans reminds us, we've all failed.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23).
From the very beginning, God warned Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed Him and ate of the forbidden fruit, the penalty would be death. And while their bodies did not die the moment they sunk their teeth into the fruit of disobedience, the process was set into motion and their spirits died totally and completely.
Through one act of disobedience, the dike was opened and creation was flooded with sin. However, just as one act of disobedience ushered sin into the world, one act of obedience delivered grace. Jesus Christ's sacrifice made eternal life available to all who believe. Notice that Paul refers to eternal life as a gift. Salvation is not something we earn. It is not a paycheck at the end of a long life. It is a gift to be received, unwrapped, and enjoyed forever.
In his letter to the Ephesians Paul wrote, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:4, 8). So how do we receive this incredible gift? We simply confess and believe.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
All through the Old Testament, men and women realized that they could not meet God's standards for holy living. There is a cycle of obedience, rebellion, repentance, revival, obedience, rebellion, repentance, revival throughout Israel's history. And don't we see that in our own hearts? I am so glad that God loves us despite our weaknesses and human frailties.
At the perfect time on God's kingdom calendar, He looked at His Son and said, "Now is the time." And on that starry night in Bethlehem, God-man was born to a virgin named Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. Smelly sheep, dirty cows, and clucking chickens welcomed the King of Kings into the world as the angels sang a symphony of praise heard by common men.
Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, even though He was tempted and tried, just as you and I are today. Then as the angels hovered low, Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice and died a cruel death as He hung on a Roman cross and breathed His last. He was the last sacrifice required by God, once and for all. But three days later, just as Satan's victory party was in full swing, the almighty power of God raised Jesus from the dead, the stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Christ burst forth in fullness of life!
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (that's you and me). Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8).
"If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).
God gives us this promise: if we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved. There is not a long list of rules to obey, only a person to follow.
Confession is an outward expression of our inward belief. It is more than simply saying something out loud. Even the demons know that Jesus is the Son of God. Many times in the Bible they acknowledged His true identity. John McArthur wrote: Confession "is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person's own master or sovereign. This phrase includes repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation, and submitting to Him as Lord." The Greek word "confess" means to say the same thing, or to be in agreement with someone. When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are agreeing with God's declaration of Jesus' true identity.
We confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts. And what are we to believe? Here Paul says, "Believe in your hearts that God raised him from the dead." Without the resurrection, there would be no salvation. Jesus would be just like every other religious leader who walked the face of the earth - dead. But what makes Christianity infinitely different from all other religions is that our God lives! He was resurrected from the dead and lives now at the right hand of the Father praying for you and me all day long!
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
If you can't remember a time when you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, why not clear that up right here and now?
If you have never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, and would like to accept that precious gift from God, we can do that today as well.
Let's pray together.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today as a sinner in need of a Savior. I confess that I have sinned and made many mistakes in my life. I am unable to live a holy life on my own. I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is Your Son, who was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, and gave Himself as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe that He rose from the dead on the third day and now lives forever with You. I ask you to forgive me and save me. I come to You in faith, believing, and thank You for giving me the gift of eternal life.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
If you prayed that prayer today, I'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at mailto:[email protected] and let's celebrate together!
Also, there is a wonderful new website to help you in your spiritual journey. Please visit www.jesusforwomen.com. While there, you'll see a brief video of my testimony and how I came to Christ.
You might consider memorizing the key verses in today's devotion as you share your faith with others.
More from the Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, I'm Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. If you've believed the enemy's lies that you are not good enough, totally worthless, would be happy if…, etc. and are ready to begin living in victory by believing God's truth, then this book is for you! It's time to be set free to see yourself as God sees you: His holy, chosen, forgiven, and dearly loved child. Now that's a truth worth repeating.
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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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